Adding Gamification to Your Personal Finances

By • Sep 4th, 2012 • Category: Personal Finance

300px Mintcom Adding Gamification to Your Personal Finances

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, given websites like and, along with endless iPhone Apps, there seems to be a real push these days to make managing your money fun and simple. When compared to the “good old days” of balancing your checkbook, adding a bit of fun to the chore can not only make the task less tedious, but could actually save you some serious dough.

For those who are not familiar with the finance website, it is essentially an online banking type of site that has the ability to pull all of your financial related accounts – from savings and checking, to investment and retirement, and mortgage and car loans – into one convenient place.

The approach of the site is to help its visitors and users to become financially “fit.” And, in so doing, it has come up with a list of things that one should have to be in control financially, along with a “report card” for how you are doing.
For those who don’t score so well, also offers a checklist of tasks that one can follow that will put them in much better financial shape. The site also provides a similar game type of mechanic that can help site users see how close – or how far away – they are to achieving specific financial goals, such as saving for a vacation or buying a home.

The Money Saving Game

In offering these “challenges” to its users, has put the task of balancing ones finances and saving for the future into a game related mode – and in doing so, it has achieved great success right along with its users.

In addition to tools for its adult website users, has also come up with a simple computer game that is intended to teach high school age site users about how they can deal with money in a responsible way.

Likewise, when it comes to managing student loans, has introduced a whole new way to do so. Similar to Mint, provides users with a simple dashboard right up front that shows you an overall snapshot of all of your loans. Not only that, there are also other simple-to-use tools that show you how to actually visualize and understand the loan (or loans) that you have. This way, you can see exactly how much the interest is costing you, your remaining balance, and how paying the debt off early can help you to save hundreds – or sometimes thousands – of dollars over time.

In addition to offering both static and interactive financial tools, also provides live help. That way, you’re not stuck with unanswered questions about your loans, and can continue with charting your best course of action.

It Really IS Fun to Save!

Bringing back the fun – even for serious tasks such as saving money and sticking to a budget – can actually have some very positive side effects. First, when one is in the mindset that what they are about to do will be fun, half the battle is won already, as they are in the right mindset for moving forward.

Conversely, when someone truly dreads something, they may or may not ever get around to it – and if they do, it is done so begrudgingly, typically in a hurried and unthinking manner. Unfortunately, with finances, it is never a good idea to rush through a task without thinking everything through thoroughly.

We All Love a Challenge!

Since the time we were children, challenges have been a way to get our adrenaline pumping and our motivation into high gear. Starting with pee-wee sports, we all know the feeling of victory – and the agony of defeat.

In some ways, has turned managing your finances into a challenging “game” of sorts that also provides feedback regarding your progress. Psychologically, this actually helps people to not just “accept the challenge,” but to do what it takes to “win,” or in this case, make positive steps towards a more rewarding financial future.

In a similar manner, helps students and graduates in making better decisions about their educational debt. In many ways, this too is a challenge that must be overcome. Otherwise, debt and interest charges can overtake your financial future!

In either case, the more interactive one’s financial education is, the easier it is for most to absorb and take action on. So, regardless of whether you are fighting off demons in God of War or battling high student loan interest rates, both are “games” that you must ultimately win by making good, informed decisions while keeping the enemy at bay!

Author Bio: Jennifer Ricci works for private loan consolidation company Cedar Education Lending. Through her work she is able to give support and advice to graduates looking to manage their finances better. When not working she enjoys writing about the latest ways technology is helping make peoples lives easier.

 Adding Gamification to Your Personal Finances
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